One Day, Out Of The Blue...

For most of us, our days are routine: we get up, do our work, live our lives and make plans with the expectation that tomorrow will bring pretty much what we expect it will. And then one day things are going along exactly as expected and WHAM out of the blue something happens that completely changes everything.Sometimes, like today, that something literally falls right out of the sky. Today began as one of those unscripted, unstructured, nothing but lunch planned days. My favorite kind. I had taken a break from the heap of picture books I’d pulled off my shelves over coffee this morning, and was standing at the dining room table going through the mail when I glanced up to see Rusnati, my housekeeper, running full stop toward the house from the back of the garden.

Rusnati is short, just over 4 feet tall and  round. (Think “Weebles” those roly playskool people and their hard-plastic town and garage and houses?-my kids loved them.) Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down. They don’t run either.

I stood ,  flabbergasted at the sight of Rusnati running. Wow! could she run! But why? There had to be something--something bad to get her running so fast.  Then I freaked and ran to meet her.

“Warjo!” she panted, pointing back to the corner of the yard. “Warjo @#$#@$ (something I couldn’t understand or translate but that sounded like “potong” which means cut and something about his arm.

I looked where she was pointing. Warjo, our pool man, was face up on the ground beneath the mango tree with his head in the ginger stalks. My heart busted into the High School “fight” theme.  No blood, I willed, not wanting to see his arm cut off. Him bleeding out in our yard.

Rusnati was sort of pulling me toward him, as a kid does a mother. Who resigned and made me the mom? I wanted to ask. I wanted to pull back like another kid would. Instead I prayed: Please don’t be dead. Don’t be dead. And no blood. Please no blood.

I didn’t want to look. Didn’t want to see what I might see. I do not enjoy horror movies.

Warjo heard me call him and tried to raise himself up, or tried to raise his hand. But his hand didn’t come up, only his head and shoulder did. The arm dangled.

"Rusak, munkin" Rusnati said. Maybe broken.


I wracked my brain for for recollections of hospital dramas. I so wanted to channel McHero.

“Don’t more!” I ordered. Quickly adding the smidge of Indonesian I could muster. “Tunguh,” wait.

Warjo waited…not much else he could do. And so did everyone else. Rusnati, Aan, Rohemon, the security guards, they all probably had as much, if not more, medical experience than I did and they were waiting for me to give orders.

It was my house, my garden, my tree Warjo had fallen from. My problem to solve. So I barked orders (not consisely or in any specific language, it was more jestures mixed with jibberish). We tied Warjo's upper body in a sarong and 4 guys pulled/pushed him to a sitting position. Sweat rained down his face and chest. His eyes were wild. They asked if he could walk. Got him to his feet. Warjo tried a step but his body just quivered like jelly.  So they carried him to the car and settled him in.

Turns out Warjo’s arm was broken clean through. A ragged, jagged break that requires surgery and immobilization. He was checked into the hospital and will be operated on tomorrow, a pin inserted to set the bone, several months recovery, bills, loss of work--not to mention what the fall may have done to his guts, back, him...

We called his family while waiting for treatment.Warjo’s wife and only son came. Shortly after, in ones and twos, others arrived—friends, family, neighbors—until Warjo had about 15 visitors. He's not alone. But, what  now?

With the crack of a branch, this bright blue day, which started out so like so many others has changed Warjo’s life, and his families, an ours too. One hopes it’s only a temporary change. What if it isn’t?

What about when our out of the blue day arrives?